TriCounty Pat Ryan, named Tri-County Co-Male Coach of the Year, Metamora High School, and the IHSA state football playoffs have very much in common.
As a Redbird quarterback, Ryan directed a Metamora attack that took his team to the quarter-finals twice before losing.
And as head coach at his alma mater, he has led his last three teams deep into the tournament, bowing in the semi-finals in 1995 and finishing second in both 1995 and 1997 to New Lennox Providence.
Going 13-1 in each of the last two seasons, the rebuilding job he did last season was truly outstanding. Losing his entire offensive line and brilliant offensive threat Jared Grebner from the 13-1 1996 team, he regrouped his team for another 13-1 season and a second consecutive runnerup slot.
In his eight seasons at Metamora, Ryan has forged a 67-22 record and has won four Mid-Illini titles and shared a fifth. He attended Eureka College and Southeast Missouri State and began his coaching career under his high school coach, John Helmick, in Carbondale. He then spent three seasons as an assistant at Metamora before becoming head coach in 1990.
Pat Ryan, named Tri-County Co-Male Coach of the Year, Metamora High School, and the IHSA state football playoffs have very much in common.
As a member of the first four-year class at Limestone High, Larry Stranz was eager to help get a positive athletic tradition started for the Bartonville school. All he lacked was talent.